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Best Egg Rolls in LA area

l
lapizzamaven Aug 20, 2009 10:16 PM

A friend of mine, were both ex-NYers, has been telling me about the best NY style egg rolls in the area. He finally took me to Genghis Cohen on Fairfax and, I have to say, they were the best egg rolls Ive ever had in California..Nothing at all like the shrunken,greasy carrot-filled nightmares made at every Chinese restaurant Ive eaten at in the area.Admittedly, I am not an expert on local Chinese food. I have a few favorites but never have i eaten a good, large NY style egg roll until tonite. They were wrapped in a perfectly crispy, not greasy and nicely textured skin...Really excellent..Anyone have any egg roll wisdom to share?

  1. w
    Wheggi Aug 29, 2009 12:16 AM

    Ying's Kitchen in Sylmar makes a freak of an egg roll. It's more like a burrito than a spring roll, crispy on the outside and packed with some kind of pork/vegetable mixture (heavy on the pork side). If you are up that way check them out.

    1. Das Ubergeek Aug 25, 2009 08:10 PM

      I submit the following photos of an egg roll from Yang Ming in the city of Orange for your inspection:

       
       
      8 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek
        Professor Salt Aug 25, 2009 09:51 PM

        Holy shit, DU photographed Bigfoot!

        I guess I'll have to mail order some duck sauce, unless someone has a local source?

        EDIT: I started another thread about duck sauce
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/647551

        1. re: Professor Salt
          Das Ubergeek Aug 25, 2009 10:05 PM

          ...but it came with duck sauce and hot mustard. I just didn't take a photo of it because I wanted to eat the egg roll before it got cold.

          Is it an EXACT clone? No. But it's really, really, really close and good enough to scratch the itch. And if you disagree you're out a whopping $1.25 (comes free with lunch specials).

          1. re: Das Ubergeek
            Professor Salt Aug 26, 2009 09:15 PM

            Post visit followup: close enough. Not the eggroll of my youth, but close. The carrot shreds were too close to raw. The pork wasn't bits of chashu, but just small pieces of cooked pork.

            I'd actually been to Yang Ming once before for lunch, and was reminded that I hadn't gone back because the food was pretty poor. It's an old school gringo Cantonese joint that looks unchanged for three decades. If it's any indication, they have a "po po platter" on the menu. The all anglo customers (median age probably approaching 60) in the place for dinner looked like they'd been going for three decades. Clearly, the place has its local fans.

            To do as the Romans do, I ordered orange chicken and eggplant with garlic. The overcooked chicken pieces swam in nuclear orange tinted corn syrup. The mushy overcooked eggplant came in its own oversweet sauce

            I thought I should give other entrees a shot. Wrong. I should have just got a bigger order of eggrolls. If you're making the pilgrimage, get only the eggrolls so you can say you've done it. Then drive a couple blocks south and eat at Marisocs Puerto Esperanza for dinner.

            1. re: Professor Salt
              Das Ubergeek Aug 27, 2009 08:18 AM

              I agree about the food. It's not very good. The Mongolian beef is edible, as is shrimp in lobster sauce, but the tofu is awful and their chow mein is meh. The other place I have had egg rolls (but not recently) is China Village on State College in Fullerton... but it's been almost 3 years so my memory is dim.

        2. re: Das Ubergeek
          b
          Burger Boy Aug 26, 2009 12:43 PM

          Is that a whole eggroll or half of one? Just curious.

          1. re: Burger Boy
            Das Ubergeek Aug 28, 2009 08:18 PM

            A whole one.

          2. re: Das Ubergeek
            E Eto Aug 28, 2009 08:03 PM

            Wow, that looks almost as good as a Tito's taco.

            1. re: E Eto
              Das Ubergeek Aug 28, 2009 08:19 PM

              That's not a compliment... :-P

          3. p
            peterboy Aug 23, 2009 09:32 PM

            never found them in LA. Ghengis Cohen is close. But you can go to NYC and G'island and find places that dont measure up egg roll wise, too.

            1. k
              kssunshine100 Aug 23, 2009 09:00 AM

              For you NYers....if any of you ate and remember the egg rolls at Gam Wah on Old Country Road in Westbury, Long Island...that's the kind of egg rolls I'm looking for here in L.A. Best I've ever had. For that matter, I haven't found Wonton Soup or Cold Sesame Noodles or Spare Ribs like theirs either. Anyone know where you can find these foods that are like how Gam Wah used to make them? (For those who do remember Gam Wah - famous throughout Nassau County - but haven't been to L.I. in a long time, I'm sorry to say that Gam Wah closed several years ago). Are Genghis Cohen's items like Gam Wah's?

              2 Replies
              1. re: kssunshine100
                Professor Salt Aug 23, 2009 09:06 AM

                Hi, another Long Island native here. I've never been to Gam Wah, but as a species, a good NY style eggroll is almost impossible to find out here. That's the bottom line of this thread and the two others I linked to. However, try for yourself the ones at Genghis Cohen, the place in Montrose, and the two in Orange County, and be prepared for an "almost, but not quite."

                1. re: Professor Salt
                  l
                  lapizzamaven Aug 23, 2009 09:22 AM

                  By the way, someone on the other egg roll thread suggested Magic Wok in the Marina..No magic there..I zipped right over to check em out...The veg egg rolls' skin looked similar but was not really crunchy and was rather greasy..they were just siting under the heat lamp so i didnt expect much and my expectation was met. ugh

              2. A5 KOBE Aug 21, 2009 11:39 PM

                cha gio and lumpia > chinese eggrolls :P

                1 Reply
                1. re: A5 KOBE
                  j
                  Jack Flash Aug 22, 2009 01:52 PM

                  Not if you like egg rolls, as opposed to spring rolls.

                2. Das Ubergeek Aug 21, 2009 09:56 AM

                  I have had the egg rolls at Genghis Cohen and they are not bad, but for the real deal you need to go to Yang Ming, on Tustin Avenue in the city of Orange.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                    Mr Taster Aug 21, 2009 10:23 AM

                    Seriously? When did this happen, and why have you been holding it back from us? :) I can pick some up when I'm getting my annual pumpkin pie from The Filling Station!

                    Mr Taster

                    1. re: Mr Taster
                      Professor Salt Aug 21, 2009 10:43 AM

                      DU wasn't holding back. It was an addendum in the thread he started

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3702...

                      1. re: Professor Salt
                        Mr Taster Aug 21, 2009 11:44 AM

                        Wow, that place had completely dropped off my radar... thanks for the reminder

                        Mr Taster

                        1. re: Mr Taster
                          l
                          lapizzamaven Aug 21, 2009 02:17 PM

                          Mr Taster..let me thank you again for the egg roll expertise...i just reheated,in a nice little toaster that gets quite hot,quite fast, 2 egg rolls i took out from GC last night. they retained quite a bit of flavor and crispness...Not quite NY flavor that I remember but pretty good and I usually am fairly restrained with my praise. By the way, this info about Yang Ming could create a southbound traffic tsunami this afternnon...

                    2. re: Das Ubergeek
                      Peripatetic Aug 21, 2009 12:00 PM

                      DU, what else do you recommend at Yang Ming? I'm ready to drive 40 miles for the egg rolls of my youth, but probably should order some accompaniments.

                      1. re: Peripatetic
                        Das Ubergeek Aug 21, 2009 02:30 PM

                        Hm... stick with things that are Cantonese-style and try and avoid things that are obviously going to be greasy. Nothing really stood out but I had decent American-style gong bao (which I know is not Cantonese, but it's just American).

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                          m
                          mopeyboy Aug 21, 2009 11:21 PM

                          Agree about GC but the place has seen better days. It just seems a bit "worn" around the edges. Used to go there all the time - now just pick up eggrolls and leave.
                          St. Louis used to have a place named Lotus Room. That's where I first had thick, pebbly crusted eggrolls. Pork and tiny bits of shrimp. No carrots. Please!
                          I'm going to try both place suggested, Yang Ming and Wong's. I must. Thanks

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                            Peripatetic Aug 22, 2009 12:48 AM

                            I have no problem with good, Americanized Chinese food, like Hop Kee's (NYC). I'd love to find a place that does good fried wontons with duck sauce, moo shu pork, and iridescent red barbecue pork. I've seen the lamentations on the LA board for this type of food, so realize "it ain't happening". :(

                      2. h
                        HBfoodie Aug 21, 2009 12:50 AM

                        I never ate an eggroll in NY, but near the "Little Saigon" neighborhood in Orange County is a longtime old-style Chinese place called Wong's Restaurant (on Westminster Ave. west of Euclid Ave.) that is known for their big eggrolls which have a thicker crust and much more meat than what is usually found in most local Chinese eateries. They're a little pricey---an order of 3 runs about $6.50. I've attached a photo below:

                        Wong's Restaurant
                        10642 Westminster Ave.
                        Garden Grove, CA.
                        (714) 537-4920

                         
                        2 Replies
                        1. re: HBfoodie
                          j
                          JPomer Aug 21, 2009 10:15 AM

                          we like Ghengis Cohen's, but I must say those egg rolls at Wong's look pretty good

                          1. re: HBfoodie
                            Mr Taster Aug 21, 2009 10:57 AM

                            They do look promising... however, so do the frozen eggrolls at Trader Joe's, and they taste nothing like what us NY area expats are looking for.

                            I am told that there was a time in LA where every mom and pop Chinese joint all over LA sold that style of egg roll, and there was a point where they all just vanished... it was as if some dastardly eggroll thief came in and swapped them all out for those flavorless, greasy spring rolls.

                            The crazy part is that nobody seems to be able to really pinpoint how, why or when this happened.

                            Even more confounding for those of us who have lived in both NY and LA is that nobody seems to know whether these thick, large, bubbly skinned LA eggrolls actually tasted like their counterparts in NYC. My boss, born and raised in LA, left the city in 1981 to work in New York, where he ate many glorious eggrolls. He came back to LA in 1992 and the eggroll landscape has totally shifted to spring rolls. When I found this out, I thought, "This is fantastic! This is the perfect guy... he experienced LA eggrolls in their heyday and then moved to NYC and ate eggrolls there for 10 years." But when I pressed him on it, he just couldn't remember anything about LA eggrolls other than their general aesthetics. The flavor of the old LA eggrolls entirely eluded him, though he now has the same cravings for NYC style eggrolls that Das Ubergeek, myself, and other NY/NJ hounds have.

                            I believe it will remain a mystery for the ages...

                            Mr Taster

                          2. b
                            Burger Boy Aug 21, 2009 12:22 AM

                            The togo place in Mar Vista on the north side of Venice, west of Centinella is supposed to have good eggrolls. Little hole in the wall take out only, someone help with the name.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Burger Boy
                              Mr Taster Aug 21, 2009 10:22 AM

                              You need to reread my post that Professor Salt kindly republished.

                              Mr Taster

                              1. re: Mr Taster
                                b
                                Burger Boy Aug 21, 2009 11:15 AM

                                Wow, I had heard from a friend who grew up 5 blocks from there, lived in area 30 years, how great they were. Sorry

                                1. re: Burger Boy
                                  Mr Taster Aug 21, 2009 11:33 AM

                                  They weren't bad. They just weren't NY eggrolls.

                                  That was a big part of the frustration when I did the initial legwork... I was bombarded with info from lots of well-meaning LA hounds who really had no idea what a NY eggroll was, so ultimately I wound up fruitlessly spinning my wheels on many false leads.

                                  Mr Taster

                                2. re: Mr Taster
                                  Tom P Aug 21, 2009 01:08 PM

                                  Mr. T, did you ever try the NY Style egg rolls at New Moon in Montrose? I doubt they are as good as GC, I was just curious, though.

                                  1. re: Tom P
                                    Mr Taster Aug 21, 2009 01:13 PM

                                    Hmm.... I think so... although that time in my life is sort of a blur now :) I'll have to check it out again for a refresher course though before I weigh in officially. This might just turn out to be an eggroll-packed weekend.

                                    Mr Taster

                                    1. re: Mr Taster
                                      Tom P Aug 21, 2009 01:44 PM

                                      If you do, let me know. They are the best I have found, but I need to get to GC to compare.

                                    2. re: Tom P
                                      Das Ubergeek Aug 21, 2009 02:29 PM

                                      I have. They're not far from it but they contain no pork, only chicken, which is weird. And they cut them up. If they used pork and left them whole they'd be spot on.

                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                        Tom P Aug 21, 2009 09:42 PM

                                        Funny thing for me, growing up, the NY Style egg rolls I always had were cut up. So that is one reason these resonated with me so much. I am with you on the pork... needs pork! But I do like these a lot.

                                3. Professor Salt Aug 20, 2009 10:55 PM

                                  You came to the same conclusion as Mr. Taster, our resident NY eggroll maven.

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/349884

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Professor Salt
                                    l
                                    lapizzamaven Aug 20, 2009 11:18 PM

                                    Thanks Professor..that was a great link to the final word about egg rolls here in LA...wonder if anythings changed...since the last comments?

                                    1. re: lapizzamaven
                                      Professor Salt Aug 20, 2009 11:46 PM

                                      I almost forgot about this thread by our other eggroll fanatic, Das Ubergeek

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/370251

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